The Study of Metaphor Use in ESAP L2 Writing
This research studies the influence of professional competence of EFL learners on their metaphor production. The task was approached through analyzing metaphors in the English written texts produced by Russian students with different competence in economics – the non-professional and professional competence level. Findings highlight similarities and divergence of metaphor use in L2 writing in terms of learners’ professional competence. The results of comparative analysis of specific features in metaphors produced at different professional competence levels reveal the quantitative and qualitative differences of what functions metaphors are used to perform and to what extent they are used accurately. With the shift from the non-professional to the professional competence level learners are able to use metaphors that combine a function of presenting abstract concepts with a discourse organising function in a more balanced way and make much more use of creative metaphors, and their metaphor production tends to be less influenced by L1 background. Practical recommendations suggest an improved research methodology for studying metaphor production in ESAP as well as a deeper understanding of ESP content and its structure.